The Pokémon Company Reveals a Brand New Pikachu-Themed Plane
Today, The Pokémon Company has announced the Pikachu Jet BC, a new aircraft with a Pikachu-themed design, developed in collaboration with Japanese low-cost airline Skymark. It will be the first Pokémon-themed aircraft since the JA754A, ANA’s last Pokémon Jet, which had its livery removed in 2016.
The first Pikachu Jet BC departed Tokyo’s Haneda airport today, heading for Naha Airport in Japan’s Okinawa Prefecture. The Pokémon Company says that it has similar collaborations in store for non-Japanese airlines as well, including Singapore-based low-cost airline Scoot.
The plane’s exterior design features Flying Pikachu, with some additional cool details such as a Pikachu peeking out of one of the airplane windows. The inside of the airplane has some neat fan service as well – from headrest design to the amenities served, Pikachu is everywhere. The aircraft launch is timed to mark Pokémon’s 25th anniversary celebrations, which is why seats on the 25th row include a special design featuring Pikachu and a bunch of balloons. Hardcore fans might want to book early and secure a seat in this special row.
The aircraft is part of The Pokémon Company’s “Flying Pikachu Project”, a new scheme that seems to be centered around stimulating tourism in Okinawa, Japan’s tropical prefecture that stretches across multiple islands. The prefecture’s public transport has been taken over by Pokémon as well, with a monorail line and multiple buses receiving a special Pikachu-themed design. Furthermore, four distinct types of Pokémon-themed manholes can be spotted in 12 different locations in the prefecture. If you feel like you’ve gotta step on ’em all, you will have to hop three different islands within the prefecture.
It seems that Okinawa will become a new destination for die-hard Pokémon fans. That being said, Japan is still banning entry for non-resident foreign nationals as a countermeasure to the COVID-19 pandemic at the time of writing this article.
A special Pikachu clad in Kariyushi wear (Okinawa’s version of the aloha shirt) will also appear in Pokémon Go, and can only be caught in Okinawa Prefecture for a limited period. Let’s hope that Japan opens its borders in time for everyone to catch this special Pikachu. Pokémon Go will also introduce a different color version of Corsola, which won’t be time-limited. Corsola appears only in warm areas such as Okinawa, but this new color version does not appear to be limited to Japan or Okinawa.
Esra Krabbe is an editor at IGN Japan. The next time he flies to Okinawa, he will make sure to pack a dozen Poké Balls together with his snorkeling set.
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